Dear all, I like to share a little bit of information about my current activities before I leave for 3 weeks of summer vacation.
AFOL Networking Events (ANE) is one part of my activities which means I run and develop the program that supports the large events worldwide where many international AFOLs come together to mingle, enjoy, exchange ideas and plans, educate each other and have a great time.
Right now there are 12 events in this program which are BricksLA, Bricks Cascade, BrickCan, Brick Slopes, Paredes de Coura Fan Weekend, Japan Brick Fest, Brick World Chicago, Brick Fiesta, Bricks by the Bay, BrickFair Virginia, Skærbæk Fan Weekend and BrickCon.
These events get a larger physical support (LEGO Sets and LEGO elements) as well as extra consulting and attention from the LEGO Group in form of dialogue, activities and staff visits.
In the coming months I’ll work on a strategy with the aim to strengthen and extend the program so it becomes even more attractive for the AFOL Community as well as the LEGO Group and also see how we can extend it to not yet covered regions.
Another part of my activities is to support and educate LEGO Branded Stores globally in how to best work with the AFOL Community. The focus of the role is two-fold 1) continue to help nurture the personal relationship between the AFOL Community and Store personal and 2) create new and interesting activities and collaboration opportunities between the store and community which can be implemented globally and allow us to leverage the store as a platform to engage more with the AFOL community and give back.
What is LEGO Branded stores (LBS)? Moving forward TLG will not differentiate between LEGO owned stores (formerly known as LEGO Branded stores) and LEGO certified stores. The company wants to differentiate based on size, where flagships stores will have a different offering of activities as well as a larger product portfolio vs medium (regular LBR store) and smaller stores (LCE stores). Good news is that once we start launching the toolbox into new markets we expect that more and more recognized community members will be able to join AFOL shopping days and / or participate in the showcase program (please note there will be regional and maybe even local differences – so we will not be able to launch ‘one size fits all’ due to difference is business practice, local relevance, size and maturity of the recognized community etc).
I’m currently working on a LBS toolbox containing educational material as well as ideas and plans for activities the stores can do together with the AFOL Community. While some elements of the toolbox are already launched in Americas and Europe (like the showcase program) we aim to launch the toolbox in China already this year and we have received great interest in LCS markets in Europe and Eastern Europe. Once the toolbox is final I’ll share more information about its content with you.
I’m also working on a digital AFOL sticker on the digital VIP card for all members of the recognized AFOL community to join the LEGO Brand Retail AFOL Shopping Days. The digital sticker till replace the physical sticker we have today. Some fans have had the pleasure of testing the digital sticker and I look forward to share more information about this new initiative later this week.
The third part of my activities is to support and work with the LEGO House in Billund to integrate and represent the AFOL Community best possible into their activities and displays as the Community is seen as an important part of the LEGO Brand and LEGO experience in LEGO House.
So concrete examples of the activities I work with in connection to the LEGO House are among others MOC exhibitions in different areas of the LEGO House (Master Piece Gallery, World Explorer, Show Cases), LEGO House themed Fan evenings, LEGO House AFOL Christmas Party and LEGO House AFOL Day. I also focus on increasing the representation of toy photography (end of June we had a Stuck in Plastic foto safari held in LEGO House) and the Brickfilm community.
I hope this gives you a good overview and feel free to ask if you need more details.
Have a great summer and I hope to see you around somewhere at an AFOL Networking Event, in a LEGO Store or at the LEGO House.